EDIT - So are you saying they CLAIMED historical accuracy? If so I agree. And it was total nonsense.
Just as a point of order about nothing in 300 is remotely historically accurate. Just sayin’ lol.
I mean, a short list (and short by LexW standards mind):
- Historically, there were not 300 Spartans by themselves at ANY point in the battle. There were 300 Spartans + 700 Thespians. That’s absolute minimum of the soldiers who fought to the death. Most historians (at least in my day) believe there were some of Spartan slave-soldiers in addition to the 300 hoplites, and most historical reports suggest that there were unnamed others, and 400 Thebans, buuuuuuuuut the Thebans didn’t fight to the death.*
That’s to me, huge, like really huge, and Thespians will never see the recognition they deserve, not least because they’re not a silly word for “actor” (nor will the likely Spartan slave-soldiers).
Pretty much not a single thing about the equipment or fighting styles of the troops on either side is even slightly historically accurate. I think the most we can say is that hoplites did indeed have big shields and long spears (longer than shown in the movie though). They’re missing their body armour, their proper helms, they fight in completely the wrong way and so on. Equally the Persian Immortals are weird gold-masked nutjobs, not just a fairly hardcore bunch of padded-armour, big wicker-shield, spear-fighters. I guess at one point the Persians shoot a lot of arrows too, so there’s that, that’s kinda sorta at least a reference to the legend.
The appearance of everyone involved is total bullshit well beyond normal Hollywood total bullshit.
The Spartans had LONG HAIR DONT CARE, it was part of their THING. Like it was important to them. They had remarkably long beautiful hair (people literally remarked on it). The Greeks are also portrayed, unless I’m forgetting someone, solely by white actors. Not even like Hispanic or well, er Greek actors. There’s we’ve got Gerard Butler, Orlando Bloom, Michael Fassbender and David Wenham as Spartans for example, four of the WHITEST men alive. I suppose we should count ourselves lucky Cumberbatch wasn’t in there too.
There’s no possible way only casting white-white actors for the leads was an accident, not by the year it was made (in 1963 or even 1983 or something maybe).
And it’s ridiculous. Genetically and even in their own depictions, it’s clear many/most Greeks, especially from around Sparta, had relatively dark skin (darker than “a tanned white guy”), had dark curly hair (which Butler has at least) and so on. Now in the North, it was a bit different - blonde and red hair seem to have existed, blues were not uncommon, but in Sparta, yeah, no. Also in terms of facial features, well, let me say that in my opinion (this is less factual) the actors they chose are a poor fit imho.
- Pretty much nothing about anyone’s behaviour or what they say makes a lick of sense either, again beyond Hollywood norms. You have TWO famously pro-homosexual-relationship cultures, the Spartans and the Athenians, and not a damn one of them in the film is shown to be homosexual, which just is nuts.
Whereas the Persians, who were at least a little uptight about that kind of thing (so it seems from their laws at least a bit later), are shown as sort of lascivious gender-bending and potentially homosexual, which is just a real WTF reversal.
- = Pretty much everyone in Greece hated the Thebans by the end of the second Persian invasion, who regarded themselves as the oldest, most patrician, most educated, most civilized, and perhaps most wealthy of the Greeks, and who also pretty secretive. If someone is a shit in an Athenian play there is a good chance they are Theban. The Thebans changed sides after Thermopylae and Thebes, which had mighty walls, held out against the Greek forces even after the battle of Plataea and Persians losing, and held out so successfully they essentially got “let off with a warning” by the other Greeks, just sending out a few sacrificial goat leaders to be executed (rather than the city being looted etc. which was kind of what a lot of Greeks wanted).